Burn the Floor Opens at West End's Shaftesbury Theatre July 26

News   Burn the Floor Opens at West End's Shaftesbury Theatre July 26 Burn the Floor, the international touring ballroom dance show that originated in London as a party attraction to celebrate Elton John's 50th birthday more than a decade ago, returns there for a limited West End season at the Shaftesbury Theatre, opening officially July 26 (following previews that began July 21), for a run through Sept. 4 only.

The show, seen last year in a run at Broadway's Longacre Theatre that was originally due to run for 12 weeks only but ended up running from July 25, 2009-Jan. 10, 2010, features a couple from the U.K. dance series "Strictly Come Dancing," Brian Fontana and Ali Bastian, as special guest stars.

Bastian is best known for playing PC Sally Armstrong in TV's "Bill" and Becca Dean in the soap opera "Hollyoaks." She was a TV regular for nine years before, according to press materials, "astounding herself – and the nation – by proving herself to be a brilliant ballroom dancer on 'Strictly Come Dancing'." She is partnered by Fortuna, who previously partnered Heather Small in an earlier round of the same series. This year he has also been lead choreographer and consulting producer on the new show "Dancing on Wheels." He has also appeared as principal dancer in the two national "Dancing with the Stars" tours in the U.S., as well as appearing in the film "The Aviator."

Also in the company are Robbie Kmetoni, an 18-year-old dancer from Sydney who was the winner of the Australian version of "So You Think You Can Dance," and Janette Manrara, a Cuban salsa dancer from Miami who was a top 10 finalist of the American version of the same show.

Burn the Floor is described in press materials as a blend of Latin and Ballroom dance. It was first conceived as a special performance at Sir Elton John's 50th birthday celebrations in 1997. Two years later, the full show received its world premiere in the U.K. before going on to tour globally to over 30 countries.

The company features the talents of 20 award-winning international dancers from around the globe—Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Australia, Malaysia, Venezuela and the U.S. and includes Australian Ballroom and World Latin American champions. The dancers, who collectively hold more than 100 dance titles, move to the vision of artistic director and choreographer Jason Gilkison, former World Champion Latin and Ballroom dancer, and guest choreographer on the fourth season of "So You Think You Can Dance" in the U.S. Burn the Floor is produced by Harley Medcalf, Joe Watson, and Peter Grey Terhune with Richard Levi, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Raise the Roof One, Toppall/Stevens/Mills, Benigno/Klein, Caldwell/Allen, Carrpailet/Danzansky, Bud Martin, The Production Studio, Schaffert/Schnuck.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7379 5399, or visit www.burnthefloor.com for more details.

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